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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Shining_Force_1278.jpg]]

''Shining Force'' is the first title in a series of turn-based strategy role-playing games, and is part of a [[TheMultiverse larger franchise]] known simply as the ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'', and is considered [[FollowTheLeader Sega's answer]] to ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' by many.[[note]]Though the game's creator also allegedly said that the game wasn't based off of ''Fire Emblem'', which he claimed was so bad "not even he wanted to play it".[[/note]]

''Shining Force'' begins in the kingdom of Guardiana, where the main character, Max, is put in charge of the titular Shining Force and charged with stopping an invasion from the rival Runefaust army. The army is controlled by Darksol, a mysterious cloaked man with aspirations to revive the monstrous Dark Dragon and use it to TakeOverTheWorld. It's a prequel to the first-person Genesis RPG ''Videogame/ShiningInTheDarkness'', which featured Darksol's son Dark Sol (or, in Japan, Mephisto).

The game had a remake published in 2004 which featured enhanced graphics and sound and an extended story the involves new subplots and characters as well as tweaks to the mechanics to provide more balanced gameplay.

Its sequel, ''VideoGame/ShiningForceII'', was released in 1993 in Japan and 1994 elsewhere, but the story of the first ''Shining Force'' game is continued in the ''VideoGame/ShiningForceGaidenGames'' for the Sega UsefulNotes/GameGear.

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!!The ''ShiningForce'' games provide examples of:

* AdultFear: In Rindo, the young grandson of the town's mayor wanders off out of excitement to see the upcoming circus, only to get kidnapped by Mishaela and her minions, who plan to feed the boy to a dragon. Rescuing him in one piece is the only way you can receive the mayor's permission to use his boat to travel to Prompt.
* AerithAndBob: Every now and then a character will have a mundane name (Max, Arthur, Ken).
* AfterTheEnd[=/=]MagicFromTechnology
** The [[ComicBook/SonicTheComic British comic adaptation]] only, which had Granseal as an island in the distant future of our world, after a nuclear war led to mutations which produced analogues to the usual fantasy races.
** In the Legacy of Great Intention, there are several examples of ancient technology in the form of robots.
** And its remake expanded upon that, by explaining how magic comes from a satellite orbiting the planet. A satellite that the main character can use to fire a ''freaking laser'' over an enemy.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Max is envied and resented by the other knights of Guardiana because Lord Varios, a skilled and esteemed knight captain, is teaching him instead of them. Said knights also see Max as an upstart kid who's wasting Varios' time.
* AllSwordsAreTheSame: Giving a character a different weapon swaps the weapon you see in their battle sprite, but otherwise, the animations are exactly the same. The only exception is the Chaos Breaker, which has fancy fire effects.
* AllThereInTheManual: You won't know the backstories of all the members of the Shining Force until you read the ''Shining Force I'' manual.
* AnnoyingArrows: Archers can easily be replaced by mages (who do 'GlassCannon' better) or birdmen (who do 'FragileSpeedster' better).
** Also, Lyle the Strike Knight, even though you get him nearly halfway through the game. Centaur movement range on flat ground, 2-3 square archer range, high damage, and decent defense. You have to grind him up some so he has buffed stats before you promote him to Assault Knight, but when you do it is ''glorious.'' He ties with wolf warrior Zylo in terms of damage output with the added bonus of long range sniping ability.
* AntiGrinding: The experience you get from killing enemies varies depending on your level. Power up high enough and it's hard to find anything that'll give more than 1 EXP. Any healing done gets 10 experience points without fail. You have won the moment you can use it 10 times per fight.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: You can only have 12 characters in each battle (this is counting your mandatory leader character). This can sometimes lead to having to make painful decisions over who gets bumped from the team when a strong new character comes along.
* ArmorAndMagicDontMix: Mages might be the best at defeating heavily armored enemies, but beware because of their low physical defense. Downplayed with [[MagicKnight Arthur]], who gets spells, having lived in a city of mages, but they're not great.
* AutomaticCrossbows: When archers are promoted to bowmasters, they swap their bows for giant crossbows that can fire barrages of arrows or explosive shells.
* AwesomeButImpractical: [[{{Curse}} Cursed weapons]]. Despite sporting a far higher attack than even [[PenultimateWeapon mithril weapons]], they carry negative drawbacks that make them undesirable. These include ebbing away at the wielder's hit points, {{nerf}}ing the wielder's strongest stats (Defense for Warriors, Movement for Knights; etc.), and even paralyzing them during an attack. Worse yet, they cannot be removed without the aid of a costly purification from a priest or a high-level detox spell.
** The Sword Of Darkness deserves a special mention, as it qualifies on two counts: In addition to being a cursed weapon, its spell effect when used is [[UselessUsefulSpell Desoul]].
** Certain characters, such as Adam and Hanzou, who appear later in the game. They need a little LevelGrinding to make them effective party members, whereas you're probably using Zylo, Pelle, Musashi and others who you've had plenty of time to build up.
* {{Badass}}: ''Plenty'' of examples. If you didn't read the AnnoyingArrows example with Lyle, then let this statement be an example: Once you put Zylo onto your team, chances are you will ''[[LightningBruiser never]]'' remove him.
* BadassGrandpa: Gort. When Guardiana is attacked, he defends the local bar and, as such, it is the only building in the town that remains undamaged. He was considered one of Rune's greatest warriors in his prime and in gameplay, he's fairly useful.
** Gong may qualify as well, as he mentions fighting Runefaust for many years when you first talk to him.
* BareFistedMonk: Gong, whose combination of HealingHands and decent combat capability means he usually levels much quicker than the standard SquishyWizard-type {{White Magician Girl}}s. He's also the first optional character to join the team in the series.
* BattleCouple: The birdwoman Amon and her husband, Balbaroy.
* BladeOnAStick: Two versions appear for knights/paladins; spears and lances. Spears are thrown weapons, sacrificing damage for range. Lances are shorter range, but do more damage. Some players tend to give knights [[ChoiceOfTwoWeapons both]], switching between them depending on how close they can get their knights to the enemy.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: The Muddle spell can do this to your fighters. Though it says your characters are "confused" or "in a daze", the spell basically lets the AI hijack your characters and make them waste their MP or go after whoever they can kill.
** [[spoiler:Kane turned out to be this, brainwashed by Darksol into becoming his weapon, after you defeat him in Dragonia]].
** [[spoiler: (Almost) all of Runefaust have been under the evil influence of Darksol. Defeating them in battle can appear like a MercyKill to some players]].
* BreakableWeapons: Some weapons, such as the Halberd and the Atlas Axe, can be used to cast spells with a random chance of them showing wear. Using them again will destroy them, unless they're taken to a shop for repairs. Rings have this effect as well, but this trope doesn't apply, since they're not weapons.
* ButThouMust: This is used to force the player to forgive bosses after they're defeated, no matter how much of a DirtyCoward they are, or how much your newest recruit ''really'' wanted them dead before they were DemotedToExtra.
* CantDropTheHero: It never lets you. And when the hero dies, it's a game over. But because of this, it leads to the hero typically being many times stronger than the other characters. See OneManParty below.
* ChainLightning: The Bolt/Spark spell has a wider AreaOfEffect than Blaze or Freeze, and is one of the most useful spells because of this.
* CharacterDevelopment: Bleu starts off as a young cowardly dragon who is babied by the children of Rudo and dislikes fighting. However, when Karin is threatened by one of Kain's soldiers, the dragon GrewASpine and saved the girl by roasting the enemy to ash. If you choose to keep Bleu in your party, level him up, and promote him, he'll turn into a powerful and mighty adult dragon who inflicts as much damage as Zylo. Oh, and he breathes ''lightning bolts''.
* CircusOfFear: In Rindo, one of the boys from the town gets lost inside a circus, and so Max and the gang have to defeat an army of {{Monster Clown}}s to rescue him.
* ClassChangeLevelReset: Once characters reach a certain level, they can be promoted. Doing so upgrades their class--for example, a Knight becomes a Paladin, and a Warrior becomes a Gladiator--at the cost of sending them back to level 1. However, some of their stats are preserved, and the [[{{Cap}} Level Cap]] that affects unpromoted characters is removed.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: A subtle example: the mage Anri specializes in the [[AnIcePerson Freeze]] line of spells, Alef specializes in the [[ShockAndAwe Bolt]] spells, while Tao has all of the [[PlayingWithFire Blaze]] spells. Anri wears a blue robe, Alef wears a yellow robe, and Tao wears a red robe when she gets promoted (she starts out wearing a purple robe).
* CombatMedic: Khris, who despite being a straight WhiteMagicianGirl on paper, outdamages the actual CombatMedic Gong at higher levels.
** Many healers can actually do a lot of damage when equipped with the proper staff (most of them can critically hurt particular enemies - i.e, the Voodoo Charm can one-shot undead enemies), and since a mage's attack spells often do [[FixedDamageAttack fixed amounts of damage]], it's better to let them attack as well until their spells reach level three or higher.
* ComicBookAdaptation: In ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic'', see above.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Yes, it's a turn-based game, but the turns seem to be given at random, and it's not uncommon for an enemy to get two turns to kill your character in peril before that character gets one turn to move away or heal themselves. And in boss battles, the boss can get as many as three turns before you even get one, just enough to kill a character who before was at full health.
** Semi-random, the Speed stat plays a big factor. That doesn't mean the bosses don't have ungodly high Speed stats, though.
** The AI totally knows when it's going to be able to attack twice against one of your characters though, and will prey on whoever it can kill in one turn.
** Ever noticed how often the enemies are left with just 1 HP, thereby allowing them to get in one last attack before they die? Yeah.
** This is to say absolutely nothing about enemies ([[DemonicSpiders like Chimeras]]) and bosses ([[ThatOneBoss like Mishaela]]) who have a nasty tendency to avoid nearly every non-magical attack thrown at them, despite having similar stats to characters in your party (who are nearly always hit).
* TheCorrupter: [[spoiler:Darksol was the one responsible for turning the kingdom of Runefaust, formerly named "Protectora", into an evil force that antagonizes the player characters by the start of the game, all for a plan to resurrect an evil dragon]].
* CrutchCharacter: Zuika in the remake. Narsha is a little too unprepared for what the game throws at her, and Zuika meanwhile is able to solo the entire maps. However, he manages to remain quite useful if the player chooses to use him.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Usually not the case; "Dark" or "Evil" items are generally [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique cursed and damage their user]] in exchange for their awesome power, but when part of a YinYangBomb, the Sword of Darkness isn't evil (the words "dark" and "evil" are practically interchangeable most of the time, perhaps due to translation issues).
* DecapitatedArmy: If the Force's leader dies, you automatically lose the battle no matter what, and have to start over.
** This applies to some enemies as well. Sometimes, a boss or powerful new enemy will be in charge. Defeating them will kill lead to an instant victory.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: [[spoiler: Kane, in the first game.]]
* DoomedHometown: The core members of Max's party live in Guardiana. After their first battle with Runefaust forces, they return to find their hometown in ruins and several people either wounded or dead.
* DownerEnding: {{Subverted|Trope}}, where [[spoiler:Max is sunk under the water with the Chaos Breaker while a majority of the remaining of the force is [[TeleportersAndTransporters Egressed]] out scot-free,]] it is rather convincing until [[spoiler:you watch the cut scene after the credits, showing Max and Adam and alive and well]].
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: In Chapter 1, both the local priest and a little girl in Guardiana mention having nightmares about an impending invasion. Right after your first battle, revisiting Guardiana shows that forces of Runefaust attacked and left the town in ruins.
* EasilyForgiven: Sometimes you encounter bosses and NPCs that either screw you over (looking at you, king of Alterone) or give you a really hard time in battle (looking at you, Elliot and Kane), but no matter what they did, you are given no choice ''but'' to forgive them because they have some sympathetic motive for angering you [the player] and it's the only way to move the plot forward. (See ButThouMust).
* EnhancedRemake: ''Resurrection of the Dark Dragon'' introduces three playable characters, Narsha, Zuika, and Mawlock, adds a couple battles with them, fixes balance issues (although several of the added stuff, including Supernova as well as the three new playable characters can be game breakers if used right) and expands the story, even adding a few new twists to it.
* EscapeBattleTechnique: The "Egress" skill, usually only given to the main character. Since you (usually) cannot replay battles after finishing them, using Egress is one of the keys to LevelGrinding.
* EverythingsBetterWithSamurai: Musashi, a secret character later in the game.
* FireIceLightning: Or rather, Blaze, Freeze and Bolt/Spark.
* FlunkyBoss: Pretty much every boss is this.
* {{Flynning}}: Max does this once promoted.
* FramingDevice: Simone in the first game speaks directly to Max. It's implied that he talks to her in his dreams.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Later enemies such as the Torch Eyes and Laser Eyes have the ability to fire a laser at you and your party members, taking away a good chunk of your HP if you're not properly leveled up.
* GeoEffects: Terrain plays a role in giving a defense bonus, as well as a movement penalty.
* GlassCannon: Mages/Wizards, archers, and occasionally certain centaurs.
* GuideDangIt: Recruiting the more obscure characters can get silly sometimes, but the first game takes the crown: the ninja Hanzo is hiding in one of the game's towns disguised as a bush, and will join if you inspect his leafy disguise. In the US version, there's [[spoiler:a piece of paper on the bush to make it stand out]]. In the Japanese edition, he looks like ''every other bush in the game'', none of which have anything to gain by examining them.
** The GBA remake added a bunch of character cards hidden around the overworld. Some of them are fairly intuitive, and some of them are... not. Many are found by checking seemingly innocent objects scattered around the overworld (special mention goes to one card being behind the nameplate of a single church in one of the towns) while others are obtained by speaking to various [=NPCs=] wandering around the game world (including random people who have little to no relation to that character and a ''pig'' wandering around in the corner of Pao on your second visit). And you're not even done when you find and memorize them all, since every boss (and some recurring enemies, but only specific ones) also has a card, requiring the boss or enemy to be finished by a specific character.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Some of Max's party members are blonde, such as Khris, Arthur, Mae, and Lye.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Every single Knight-class character in the first two games is a centaur. There are also {{Wolf M|an}}en, birdmen (in eagle, stork and owl varieties), half-giants, dragonmen and... whatever the heck Grantack is. Guntz seems to be half ''armadillo''. In PowerArmor. Just because.
* HeadlessHorseman: Dullahans are headless ''centaur'' knights that you start to encounter from the march to Dragonia onwards.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:After you defeat Kane, he breaks free of Darksol's brainwashing and realizes what he has done, prompting him to atone for his horrible actions. He later performs a HeroicSacrifice in a later chapter]].
* HeroicMime: Max, though he does say a couple lines after the final boss battle. In the remake, he's "upgraded" to LaserGuidedAmnesia. Max does actually lose his voice in the remake at a certain point, regaining it at the very end when he first spoke in the original. [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration This prevents him from casting Egress.]]
* HeroMustSurvive: You are given a hero character who acts as the leader of the force. If they die, you lose and are sent back to the last priest.
* HitodamaLight: Whenever a playable character is seen while dead, they have a large flame as their sprite until they're revived.
* {{Hobbits}}: Halflings are a common race, typified by Lowe (human/dwarf) and Gong (human/giant).
* InTheHood: Tao, Anri, and Alef, since they're Mages. They retain their hoods after being promoted to Wizards
* InterspeciesRomance: It's implied Mae has a thing for Max in the first game. Mae is a centaur. This is averted in the remake with the new character Narsha being his love interest, even stealing some of Mae's lines from the original.
* ItsUpToYou: The battle is lost the instant Max gets knocked out, even if there's one minor opponent left.
* JokeCharacter: Jogurt can only inflict ScratchDamage, and if by some twist of fate he happens to kill someone, he receives an item that can have any other player character turn into him. He can't even level up.
* KillItWithFire: Zombies are resistant to physical attacks, but weak against Blaze spells.
* KillSat: In the remake, this powers a line of "Supernova" spells exclusive to Max.
* LetsSplitUpGang: This works as a way to keep slower characters at the same level as your faster ones. Enemies will usually be in two or more clusters at different ends of the battlefield. So by splitting your team up, everyone gets equal experience.
* LionsAndTigersAndHumansOhMy
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Usually about thirty in this game, some of whom are {{Optional Party Member}}s, and can be LostForever if you're not prudent. You're also left with a choice of who to use since you can only have 12 characters at a time attending a battle.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces: Pretty much everything from OurMonstersAreDifferent.
* LostForever: A few characters, and often items you miss.
* LostTechnology: All over the place.
* LukeIAmYourFather: In ''Resurrection of the Dark Dragon'', [[spoiler:Max is the brother of Kane, one of Runefaust's top generals]].
** [[spoiler: Kane is also the father of the hero in Final Conflict, who later becomes the father of Bowie.]]
* MagicKnight: Arthur is a knight who picked up magical skills from living among wizards. Domingo qualifies in a more esoteric fashion, being a powerful monster with magical abilities.
* MagicSword: Some weapons can be used to cast spells. This ability turns the Sword of Light into a GameBreaker, as it can cast Bolt 2 on a wide area as many times as you like giving 48 experience points per go, essentially making it hilariously easy for Max to [[LevelGrinding level grind]].
* MagikarpPower: Bleu, the baby dragon, and Arthur, a Centaur, both require a significant amount of grinding and patience, which can cause them to be discarded by more impatient players.
** Arguably, Domingo is this as well - a low level mage that turns into a StoneWall at higher levels, despite being otherwise portrayed as the typical SquishyWizard.
** Narsha in the remake zig-zags this. She gets a few maps specifically so that she, Zukia, and Mawlock will be able to catch up with the rest of the party and when they do join, have a lot of extra time to catch up if they wound up underleveled. However, Narsha requires some babying in order for her to survive the first map, as it's ''very'' easy for her to become overwhelmed.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: Almost every boss you will ever fight in the first game is actually innocent and under the control of Darksol. [[ButThouMust You aren't allowed to hold grudges against any of them]] no matter how angry you are after they've destroyed most of your force and you've had so much trouble defeating them.]]
* MindOverMatter: After being promoted to Wizards, Tao, Anri, and Alef can attack by using telekinesis to whack enemies with their staffs.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: This is the only reason General Eliot fights you in the first game.
* MysticalWhiteHair: The princess gone [[AnIcePerson ice mage]] Anri from the original.
* NameOfCain: Kane in the first game.
* NeverSayDie: When a character dies, they're "exhausted." Interesting how exhaustion requires the soul to be returned to the body when seeing the priest.
* NotNowKiddo: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the elf girl Simone in the introduction; she thinks [[GreaterScopeVillain Dark Dragon]] is currently on the rise and wants to tell someone, but as she puts it, "who would listen to a kid like me?"
* NPCRoadblock: Various paths are blocked off by {{NPC}}s until you complete certain missions. It can also happen randomly when an NPC wanders through a doorway, blocking your path until they change direction.
* OneHitKill: Try not to let a final boss use Desoul, by far the cheapest magic attack possible as it can suddenly kill anyone even at full health, including the leader.
** The Doom Blade that [[{{Ninja}} Hanzou]] carries has a chance of inflicting this.
* OneManParty: The flipside to AntiGrinding -- your heaviest hitters are going to hit the level plateau really quickly, and your support characters... aren't. Healers are an exception, as they gain a fair chunk of EXP when they heal someone, though this is still a slower process than with your offensively-based characters. As a result of this, most players tend to ditch Khris once the ArbitraryHeadcountLimit is reached. Also, back-row characters can be leveled up by farming injured enemies.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. The name "Max" applies both to the protagonist of ''Shining Force'' and the protagonist of ''Shining Force Neo''; the name "Arthur" can be either a centaur knight in ''[=SF=]'' or a human knight in ''Shining the Holy Ark''; and so on.
* OurCentaursAreDifferent: For the most part, they tend to be knights.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Though beards are apparently optional; in the first game, Gort has one but Luke/Lug does not.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: If by "different", you mean "Zylo will kill practically everything he comes across".
* PoweredArmor: Guntz's suit of steam armor and Kokichi's flying machine.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Kane]], though the latter is partially a HeroicSacrifice.
* RememberTheNewGuy: Arguably Narsha in ''Resurrection of Dark Dragon'', a character who was not present in the original game. She is Ramladu's daughter, who takes it upon herself to save Runefaust from her now-BrainwashedAndCrazy father. She also uses a powerful weapon and owns some of the best healing spells in the game. Particularly vexing to some is that she replaces Mae as Max's love interest in the remake, even stealing some of her lines at the end of the game (while Mae isn't even present during the scene). Narsha being compared to someone's shoehorned OC in a fan fic is almost valid.
* RespawningEnemies: Played straight, if you escape or lose a battle; all the progress made up until that point is reset, and all the enemies are respawned. In a few key battles, the hero's Egress spell can be a means for power-leveling.
* SchizoTech: Swords, axes and arrows coexisting in a world with lasers and robots.
* ShedArmorGainSpeed: In ''Resurrection of the Dark Dragon'', promoting Zuika to the Terminator class gives him a chitinous armor. When his health drops below 30%, the armor breaks, dramatically increasing his movement speed and replacing his normal attack with a FlashStep strike that has increased range and deals double damage.
* ShiningGoodness: The "Shining Force" is the one force of good that opposes Darksol and the entirety of Runefaust.
* ShootTheMedicFirst:
** A good policy for both sides, however, this is taken to an extreme by the enemies in the first game. Starting from the beginning, they will aim directly for your magician Tao, and once she dies (which will be often), they will aim for all your other magicians and healers.
** The healers and magicians have lower defense and are often easier to kill, and the AI loves preying on anyone it can kill quickly and in one turn. It goes for the other Shining Force games as well. They usually won't exclusively go after Master Monks in [[VideoGame/ShiningForceII the second game]] because they can take hits and defend themselves.
* TheSomethingForce: The [[TitleDrop Shining Force]].
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Lug is often mistranslated as "Luke", when the actual word is the former.
** Kane in ''Shining Force''. Or, wait, Cain[[spoiler:, according to the battle screen when you fight him]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''VideoGame/GoldenSun''
* SpitefulAI: Even when death seems imminent, the enemies seem to at least die happy when they know they used their last move to kill one of your weaker characters rather than focusing on the main character (who might have survived the hit) like they had been, which can frustrate to no end.
* SquishyWizard: It can depend on the character and how leveled up they are, but it's generally not a good idea to put your wizards or healers on the frontlines. If they run out of MP they might as well be a StoneWall since their physical attacks rarely do much (again, depending on the character). A notable exception is the hidden character Domingo, who has a ridiculously high Defense stat despite being otherwise entirely an offensive spellcaster. Indeed, due to the enemy tendency to attack him over other targets, he winds up being a very effective tank for the later half of the game. No, really.
* StandardEvilEmpireHierarchy:
** TheEmperor: Ramladu
** The Right Hand: Kane
** The General: Elliot
** The Guard: Balbazak
** The Oddball: Mishaela
** TheManBehindTheMan: Darksol
* SteamPunk: Guntz wears steam-PoweredArmor and Kokichi rides a flying steam-powered engine.
* StoneWall: Domingo's status as this bears repeating. He eventually gets one of the best HP and defense in the game. ''And'' the best evasion. So ''if'' a character can hit him, they generally only do ScratchDamage, and he has enough HP to weather it all. He's also one of the highest priority targets to the computer, above most healers and other magicians, and below Max, TheHero. This means that if you put Domingo and almost any other character on either side of an opponent, they'll always go for him, allowing the other to hit them repeatedly from behind.
* StorybookOpening: In ''Resurrection of the Dark Dragon'', Simone reads about the story of the Shining Force with somebody unknown while she waits for her grandfather to return.
* TheStrategist: Nova, who gives you advice if you talk to him at the base.
* SwordOfPlotAdvancement: The Chaos Breaker is required to complete the game, as it functions as a key to the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
* TapOnTheHead: The game begins when Max wakes up from a concussion caused by his teacher Varios hitting him during training. He's fine afterwards.
* TeamPet: There's an extremely large number. Save for one (Bleu, who is plot-mandatory), all of these characters are [[LostForever easy to miss]].
* TemptingFate: Max's mentor Varios congratulates his growing skill as a warrior and mentions that he'll be tested soon enough. Immediately after, Varios is summoned by the king of Guardiana, leading to Max and his party intercepting nearby Runefaust forces. The rest is history.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Shower of Cure can become this, as well as level 4 magic attacks (you want to save your MP so you can keep attacking of course).
* TookALevelInBadass: Most characters will once promoted. The most triumphant example is [[spoiler: Bleu who goes from a cowardly hiding dragon to the most overpowered character in the game after Zylo]].
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: ''Shining Force I'' was an UnexpectedGameplayChange, as the first game in the series was a dungeon crawling RPG called ''Shining In The Darkness''. This genre was revisited with ''Shining the Holy Ark''.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon'' on the Game Boy Advance.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Status-infliction spells in the earlier titles, due to their unreliable accuracy.
** Averted in the remake; though. Status-infliction spells aren't very useful...but as for Narsha's status ''buffs''? They easily veer into GameBreaker territory.
** Desoul is perhaps the most traditional example. Essentially, the equivalent of ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'''s Death spell, it almost never works. That is unless [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard an enemy uses it on you]]. Generally speaking, unless you're using Blaze, Freeze, Bolt, Heal, Detox or Boost, most other magic falls into this category.
* TheVicar: What healers turn into when promoted, with the exception of Gong, who turns into a Master Monk.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: In the beginning of the game, you can push a rolling cart at an NPC while you're in Guardiana. You can also do it again in Alterone, in order to get to an otherwise inaccessible treasure chest. The game (and the [=NPCs=]) can call you out if you do it.
--> "[[WhatTheHellHero What a rude thing to do]]!"
* WeBuyAnything: a [[JustifiedTrope justified]] example:
-->'''Shopkeeper:''' Thanks, I don't sell this type of item, but I know someone who does.
* WeCanNotGoOnWithoutYou: Losing Max at any point forces you to restart from the last save point. This is quite odd, in that it's the case in every battle, even when he has ''no apparent importance whatsoever''. BecauseDestinySaysSo indeed. Can be justified by fact that Max always acts as the leader of the Force, and without him there is [[DecapitatedArmy nobody who can give proper commands to the Force]].
* WhiteMagicianGirl: Khris, a female healer. However, she can out-damage other healers like Gong if properly leveled up.
* WithMyDyingBreathISummonYou: The game revolves around the story of Darksol, an evil sorcerer, trying to revive Dark Dragon to take over the world. The heroes fight him in Dark Dragon's lair, and as he's about to die, Darksol shouts the trope name and Dark Dragon is brought to life as the FinalBoss.
* XMeetsY: The gameplay can be summed up as ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' meets ''Franchise/DragonQuest'' (though the former was coincidental, assuming the creator was sincere; see the footnote in the first paragraph of the page description).
* YinYangBomb: The Chaos Breaker, an [[InfinityPlusOneSword Infinity+1]] SwordOfPlotAdvancement.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: In Bustoke, the Runefaust army have forcibly dragged away the men to unearth a secret weapon built by the Ancients. When it is found, the evil Master Mage in charge of the operation gives the order to kill them all, having had no further use for them. Fortunately, Max and his party arrives just in time to save the men.
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